Team looks toward rematch with Sooners

The Gamecocks will put their season on the line once again Thursday when they face off against the Oklahoma Sooners in a rematch of their first game of this College World Series. Coach Ray Tanner and several members of his team discussed this big matchup and what they hope to do to beat the Sooners this time around.

Despite a short workout today, the South Carolina Gamecocks were still hard at work, both physically and mentally as they prepare for another elimination game tomorrow night.

After beating the #1 seed Arizona State yesterday afternoon, the team moves forward with confidence despite facing an uphill climb to the national championship series.

Team leader and versatile player Whit Merrifield said that he is looking forward to playing Oklahoma with another chance to send a team home.

"Oklahoma's a very good team too, they swing the bats very well and they pitch well," said Merrifield. "I feel like they (and Clemson are) two very, very similar teams so we can approach it the same going into both games. To me it doesn't matter who we play, we have to beat either one of them."

One pitcher who will have to be prepared should USC continue to make a run in this tournament is senior right-hander Jay Brown. Although he may not be called on to start against Oklahoma's strong left-handed dominant lineup, he says he will be ready for any opportunity.

"Yeah, you know I haven't been told one way or the other whether I'll be starting or coming out of the bullpen, but I'll be ready to pitch," added Brown. "If you get on the mound in the World Series it's a dream come true and like you said I'm just going to try, me or whoever's on the mound, just give our team a chance to win and try to prolong this season as long as we can."

While this team continued the trend of no Ray Tanner teams going 0-2 in the College World Series, the Gamecocks will still have to win three more games before having a chance to play for the national title.

After falling to the Sooners the first time in out in a game with more than six hours of rain delays, Carolina will instead try to continue to their success of the last game in this matchup.

"That's the beautiful thing about this game, you're still here and you handled it," said Tanner. "That long day was the same for Oklahoma as it was for us, it was a pretty good game despite the conditions, and we were able to bounce back after the loss. (We'd) like to stay around for a few more."

While there's been much speculation regarding possible pitching matchups and the advantages or disadvantages to Oklahoma having to play today, Coach Tanner simply said that to win in this series it takes quality play no matter what the situation.

"At this point in the season you just have to play well," said Tanner. "You've got to go out and perform."

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